Aluminium Honeycomb (flaccid)

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Aluminium Honeycomb (flaccid)
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This un-expanded strip of aluminium honeycomb is very intriguing. It is made from a solid metal glued together in a way that results in a material with jelly-like or elastic properties. In this form it is also very compact and easy to ship cost-effectively and without risk of damage, but can be easily expanded into its full sheet form without the need for sophisticated equipment.

When expanded, the aluminium structure is a ‘core material’, designed to be sandwiched between much denser, tougher materials, giving volume, form and strength without less expense and weight. It can be skinned with anything from marble or ceramics, to fibreglass, Kevlar, or carbon fibre, to form very high-tech composite materials which enable designers and engineers to realise ever more ambitious buildings, vehicles and machines. The long channels put distance between the two skins, without allowing the skins to move in relation to each other, making it possible for large-scale, stiff, lightweight panels to be made with excellent shear strength, and compression and corrosion resistance.

Without a skin, used as it is, this aluminium honeycomb is used to deflect or absorb energy, channelling away water, air and sound, or as an efficient crash-absorber. It can be industrially produced in a very simple way, by screen-printing resin adhesive onto corrugated aluminium, and layering it up in sheets to form the material we have here, which is then expanded.

The honeycomb is generally considered to be the strongest structure in nature, and the most efficient use of material needing a good strength to weight ratio. Charles Darwin proclaimed it to be the most economic use of labour and wax. Sophisticated early honeycomb technology was used to support the dome of the Pantheon when it was rebuilt in Rome in AD 126.

Sample ID: 476


Acoustic | Aerospace | Aluminium | Anti-fungal | Corrosion-resistant | Fire-retardant | Hexagonal | Honeycomb | Insulation | Light Weight | Stiff | Strong

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